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David Rosenhan

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David L. Rosenhan Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Law at Stanford University and a member of the Stanford community for more than 40 years died on Monday, Feb. 6 at Stanford University Hospital. He was 82. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey to Joseph and Nuna Lurie Rosenhan, he was a yeshiva student in his youth and completed his undergraduate work at Yeshiva College. David remained deeply committed to the Jewish community for his entire life. He completed his PhD in Psychology at Columbia University. Before coming to Stanford, he taught at Haverford College, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Swarthmore College. A former president of the American Psychology-Law Society and of the American Board of Forensic Psychology, he was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and published more than 80 books and research papers. He is best known for his groundbreaking study, "On Being Sane in Insane Places" which became one of the most heavily cited studies and influential (indeed transformative) studies in the field of psychology. His work called into question the process of clinical labeling and its consequences for individuals and groups. He was a pioneer in forging the connections between law and the social sciences. David had a beautiful voice, serving as a cantor during his early years and continuing through most of his life. He and Molly were energetic supporters of the New Israel Fund and of Stanford Hillel. David is survived by his son Jack Rosenhan of Palo Alto and his beloved granddaughters Cecily and Yael, as well as his brother Hershel of Jerusalem. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Molly Scwartz Rosenhan and his daughter Nina. Services will be held at Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto at 10am Thursday morning, Feb. 9. Interment will follow at Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be sent to the New Israel Fund or Stanford Hillel.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 8, 2012
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